Marriage rates in the United States have been steadily declining over the last few decades. Plus, people are tying the knot later. The average age for marriage in the United States (2018) is 28 for women and 30 for men. It’s a stark contrast to the median age of 20 and 23 in 1960.
So, why are fewer people getting married, or marrying later in life?
The Pew Research Center indicates that love is statistically the number one reason a couple chooses to marry. Companionship and making a lifelong commitment closely follow love in this regard. Although less popular, couples also choose to enter a marriage for health benefits, legal rights, and religious recognition of their relationship.
Despite all of the reasons couples are likely to marry, one significant factor that delays or discourages couples from marriage is financial insecurity.
Since the cost of college is at an all-time high and affordable housing is becoming rarer, many feel that getting married is not a financially viable option.
On another note, many individuals and couples do not feel ready for the commitment of marriage. As marriage rates are on the decline, the number of couples opting to cohabitate is increasing. Many couples choose to live together without the commitment of marriage for a variety of reasons, including sharing rent and having a more simple breakup, should that occur.
Another reason fewer people are choosing to marry is because of their desire to fulfill personal goals. This could mean earning a college education or traveling the world. Some people — especially Millennials — feel that a serious relationship heading towards marriage would distract them from wellness or career goals. Instead, many individuals prefer staying single or entering casual relationships.
Ultimately, the majority of Millennials who aren’t married do want to enter into this union at some point in their life. In modern days, more couples are choosing to date each other before committing to marriage for at least a few years. This is not because Millennials care about marriage less than the previous generations; they are simply taking time to get to know each other before making the commitment to marry.
The “right time” to get married is a very personal decision, and shouldn’t be rushed. It’s whatever makes sense for you, your life plan, and your partner. Who’s to say what the “correct” age is?
What are your thoughts on marriage? Tell us in the comments!